Artistsnetwork asked: What’s the most impactful lesson you’ve learned by creating a master copy?
I’ve painted more than 40 copies of masters of the 1800’s depicting models in traditional costumes from the region where I live in Italy, between Rome and Naples. I am not Italian by the way, my interest was awakened by the discovery of how the poor people of the region that emigrated to London, Paris and other places where artistic activity was very high were depicted in hundreds in artwork from the great masters like Corot, Sargent, Picasso, Bouguereau and many others. In their traditional costumes they offer very interesting subjects. Also, at the time many artists and intellectual people came to Italy to study classical art and they met these people that were searching work in Rome.
So, I was interested in the history, on the other hand I liked the colorful costumes and of course I admired the masters. Painting the copies have been sometimes very time consuming, I normally paint a portrait in a couple of days, no more than a week, for some copies of Bouguereau of big dimensions I needed 3 weeks. To answer the question, through the copies I learned patience and humility, and of course techniques.
An ebook with photos and interesting stories (in Italian) about the models: read here
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La collezione completa è visibile qui